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Iowa woman to direct career services department (Released: 2/20/98)

by Richard Veilleux, Office of University Communications.

Storrs, Conn. -- A veteran career placement counselor, recruiter and director has been named to head the Department of Career Services at the University of Connecticut.

Cynthia Jones, who will begin her new duties March 27, is currently director of career services at Coe College, a private, four-year liberal arts school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"We are truly excited that Cynthia accepted our offer," says Joanne Lewis, director of counseling services and chair of the search committee. "She brings a vast amount of knowledge to the position, experience in public and private college settings, and a management style that is truly reflective of a person who values teamwork. She has a collaborative style that will help her build partnerships with faculty, students, and the business community."

Jones was selected from among nearly 200 applicants for the job, which opened when the former director, Cynthia Sedgwick, left to work toward her doctorate.

Jones has directed the career services office at Coe College since July 1996. Prior to that, she was director of recruiting and outreach in the School of Education at San Diego State University, where she had worked since 1972, holding jobs as a placement interviewer, cooperative education coordinator, and career counselor.

She will use all those skills at UConn. The career services department, located in the Wilbur Cross Building, is responsible for job counseling, skills seminars, career fairs, cooperative education assignments and internships, on-campus interviews and job placement for thousands of UConn students and alumni annually.

"The position has exactly what I wanted ... an office whose former administration had really embraced the technology that catapults us into the top group of universities that interface so well with employers," says Jones.

She says career development is important for students throughout their years in college. "We have to reach them early, not just in their senior year," she says. "Most people think of this field as placement. I like to think of it as education and intervention early in a student's life to prepare them across the board for their careers."

Jones, who earned a master’s degree in public administration in 1978, and a master’s degree in counseling in 1986, both from San Diego State, is completing work on a doctorate in student development and higher education leadership at the University of Iowa. She is a member of the American College Personnel Association, the American Association of Education Employers, the Mid-West Association of Colleges and Employers, and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. She is a past president of the California Educational Placement Association.